Studying Endings, Day 0
It's been a long time coming, but everything is set up for me to finally start studying endings!
As I mentioned in my introduction post for Chess^Summit, I spent much of my childhood reading Yasser Seirawan's Winning Chess ___ books over and over again... except for the one on endgames! Draw your own conclusions.
Last night at the club (G/120, 5s delay; time wasn't an issue) I converted a slightly tricky rook ending. It felt more difficult than it should have, probably aided by late-night fatigue (guessing same for my opponent, since he's 80 years old, though he still maintains a solid 1800+ rating), but also because I probably need to work on endgames. So here are the endgame-neophyte thoughts from the game.
I actually left my scoresheet at the club but managed to reproduce the game (with the possible exception of opening move order), which is remarkable because I usually have trouble remembering late in the opening even with games I've played just before I try.
Of course, a difficult win is the best motivation for the next step. I've thought about practicing endgames against engines for a while but never managed to set anything up correctly. Today:
- try to figure out Stockfish one last time
- complained about how all this chess software is for Windows (I Mac for development reasons and look where that gets me)
- found out Komodo <= 8 is free
- could only find Mac version for Komodo 3, but I guess 3000 ELO is strong enough
- downloaded ChessX, couldn't figure out how to add engines
- downloaded Scid vs. Mac, figured out how to add engines
- found out a single FEN string constitutes a PGN file
- complained about how bad chess software UI is (makes me wonder what my designer supervisor at work would think)
- found out what "paste FEN" means (apparently it takes no input and is only meant to be clicked after uploading a file). Now I know how to set up arbitrary positions in Scid vs. Mac.
- figured out how to play a game against an engine in Scid vs. Mac.
- also figured out how to play a game against Stockfish on iPhone but not worth
...and it works! I tested it with a simple Lucena position (one of the two nontrivial rook ending topics I remember off the top of my head). Finally, time for the infamous bishop+knight mate with Komodo at 5 sec/move:
Oops, that's embarassing. One more try?
Sweet! Completed a preliminary round of endgame training.